My son and I went on one last summertime run. We agreed that it would probably be a good idea to check out the route to his new school: A Middle School. I already knew the way, and so did he, but I am having a harder time than he is about the distinction between "Junior High" and "Middle School." He's going into sixth grade, and in my world, he's still in elementary school. Not so in his world. He's about to become a little fish in a big pond.
With that in mind, we headed up the hill and wound through the neighborhood that makes his new path. On a Sunday morning, I tried to imagine the stream of children heading out each day on their way to their appointment with math and science and language arts. I thought about the backpacks and lunchboxes that had to be one notch cooler than the year before, since Dora The Explorer probably wouldn't quite pass the peer review for middle schoolers. My son lives in a world of Legos and car magazines, the latter of which will certainly ingratiate him with any number of kids at lunchtime. That is, provided they want to listen to him expound on the handling of the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4.
Once we got to the steps of his new school, I told him that I wished that I could be with him tomorrow morning, but I would be there in his heart and his head. He smiled in that borderline sheepish way that middle school boys have, and said, "Yeah Dad," and he gave me our special power-thumb connection. Then he looked up and asked, "Can we go home my way? It's shorter."